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Why Gentle January is the Perfect Time for Self-Care and Reflection

January Gentleness or January Judgement

 I’m a midlife woman and I’ve arrived at some great discoveries over the past year.  My discoveries happened when I was open to embracing the twists and turns of my midlife experiences with curiosity instead of dread.  I became curious about how I could live my everyday life with new approaches. I gained new insights over the year about my relationship with myself and how non-negotiable  self-care was essential to the extension of myself into other relationships.  The year ended with a milestone birthday which was full of surprise,joy, family, friends and overwhelming celebration. The lessons I learned over the past year include:

  • Every day is an opportunity to accept where I am and what opportunities are available for the day, week or month. 

  • Each day brings a layer of uncertainty.

  • Gratitude is one of my core values

  • It’s easier to just be me

  • Words matter

  • Health can be reshaped with daily habits

  • Having a spiritual practice is life sustaining

My unique passage into the New Year has centered around embracing midlife as an opportunity to live my next chapters with gentleness instead of judgment. What I’ve discovered is that  being gentle with myself allows that gentleness to flow to others. I also realized that  I can cultivate the strengths I’ve gained over five decades and still grow in new ways. 

So this January I’m spending time examining my joy moments and not allowing the pressures of a consumer focused society stimulate my insecurities about the ways I choose to nourish, move, dress, and spend my time or money. I say no to judgements and yes to joy! What are you saying yes to this month?

No to the following judgements ( this is my short list):

  • Something I did not complete means I’m not focused

  • My midlife body should look different

  • I didn't choose the “right” foods when stress was high

Advertisers prey on our areas of January judgements by flooding our timelines with shiny things to buy. Saying no to the empty promises of advertisers allows more capacity for leaning into gentleness and joy! My gentle January involved creating a mini-retreat for myself in a room inside my home. I scheduled a time and sat down with my journal. My first section was past year reflection.  I’ll share a few of my highlights.

  • I hit a milestone birthday! Longevity is a gift.

  • My family loves me

  • I still enjoy time with my husband

  • Deep inside my losses are some great memories

  • I read some thought provoking books over the past year

  • I’m looking forward to more books and podcasts

  • I enjoy my professional growth as a health coach and I work with an amazing team

  • I pivoted my career. Yay!

  • I made some new friends

  • I don’t watch news media outlets. They activate fear, anger and many other emotions that don’t serve my life.

  • I still make time for yoga

After reflection, I created quarterly intentions for the new year. It was helpful to start my retreat with the intention of a gentle approach instead of pressure to create a specific type of vision board or declaration with 10 fill-in the blanks. I started with a simple  journal and a pen. There are many journal apps available also to make intention setting simple however my “old school” girl brain kicked in and  she loves pen and paper.  I sealed my mini-retreat with a prayer and a great cup of tea.

Keep going! 


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